tv Washington This Week CSPAN July 5, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
indigenous community, it does we do have the historic political test, if i may say. we have the whole agenda of different things, from ensuring quality participation, but also, economic development and so on. so they canasures be integrated. for the diversity of their own culture. we have many different indigenous groups. north, to the south. the other groups. it is very important that we agenda that will
allow us to work with them, too. what we have been doing that is , we important, i believe have approved the convention 169. projects, political or economical that affect the community directly should go to the community. and agenday program and a council of indigenous people. i have a ministry of culture. i do not send it to parliament until we go through the right process.
many other situations, they should be part of the consulting way of giving their opinion on what and how they feel and what they would like in some issues or institutions that represent them. and -- veryry active agenda in dealing with the shortcomings we've had and challenges we've had. i know we will also come in that sense, be able to diminish conflict we have in some parts of the country. with a lot of social protection because, in many of the indigenous areas, we have higher rates of poverty or some diseases. or -- pay payment more attention to their values and culture. >> thank you very much.
endafraid we've come to the of our time. thank you for being so generous. >> i spoke so much. i'm sorry. --please join me in thanking if you could please remain seated until the president and the members of her delegation accompanied her to her next meeting have a chance to clear the building so we can keep you on schedule. thank you very much. [applause] >> on tomorrow's newsmakers, discusses canada's
energy market, including the keystone xl pipeline which would stretch 1700 miles from canada to the southern coast of texas. tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. i,i tell the story about how whose every aspect of identity is in one way or another a -- my gender is mye, my religion is muslim, citizenship is american but my nationality is iranian. my ethnicity is persian, my culture is middle eastern. everything about me sense off all the warning signals for israel. the experience of an iranian-american single man trying to get through ben-gurion is a reminder to
everyone that despite the way that globalization has brought us closer and diminished the boundaries that separate us as nations and ethnicities and -- despitecultures all that, all you have to do is spend a few minutes trying to get through the airport to remember that those divisions, the things that separate us are very much alive. taking your phone calls coming e-mails and tweets on islamic fundamentalism. the war on terror and the current instability in the middle east, live for three hours, sunday at noon on book tv depth. television for serious readers . beginhington state will legally selling marijuana for recreational use this week. the state is already low on supply.
the liquor control board will begin issuing marijuana business just 24 on monday, hours before retailers can officially begin selling the substance. an estimated 20 retailers are expected to open for business on tuesday. that was one of the many topics covered at a recent summit focused on the legalization and sale of marijuana. policymakersuded and activists discussing the cannabis industry future. this is two hours. steve sends his regrets. he has fallen ill with the flu. we are excited to be able to have troy dayton from the arcview group, his business partner, take his spot. we are grateful to troy for taking it at the last minute. we've had the pleasure of working together for about a decade now, first with the marijuana policy project and
then he founded the arcview group right before ncia was formed in 2010. troy, more than anyone, understood early, early on that building a new kind of profitable american industry that is politically engaged and setting an example for how commerce can be transacted in this country with legal marijuana would change the world. ultimately, no one would be put behind bars and cages for using this plant. he is an inspiration, a mentor, and a friend to me and it's an honor to introduce troy. he is our first keynote speaker. [applause] >> give it up for aaron smith. [applause]
wow. there's a lot of people here. this is pretty impressive. i saw so many chairs and i thought this would really be the great next american industry. we've been saying that for a long time. now it seems that it's actually coming to pass. this is by far the largest number of people who has ever come to a business conference for this industry. thank you for being here and taking whatever risks you've taken in life to wind up here. we will find out more about that as we go forward. i just want to take a quick moment to collectively acknowledge the fact we are sitting on the soil where cannabis is legal. [applause]
even though it's been well over one year since it has been through, it sends chills down my spine when i think about all the hard work and against all odds that was passed. now, everything becomes possible. when i started in this movement when i was 18, i was a marijuana policy project first volunteer in 1995. basically through my life, most people have said i told them i wanted to make cannabis legal and they would say, "that will never happen. that's hopeless." they would proceed to tell me why all the reasons making marijuana legal -- pharmaceuticals, parents, whatever. a litany of lists why we would
never make marijuana legal. then something happened a few years ago. almost overnight, the storyline changed. then when i told people what i was working to do to make marijuana legal they would say it was inevitable. how did that happen? i think the commonality between those two approaches as they absolving the person of responsibility for doing anything. if it's hopeless, why do anything? if it's inevitable, why do anything? it's important to recognize it was not hopeless then and it is certainly not inevitable now. the inevitability is in everyone in here and everyone who cares about this cause. it is in their hearts and in their wallets.
it's only inevitable if people put their desire and passion into this and continue to donate, take action, move the ball forward politically. if you donated your time or money to many of the political efforts of the past, can you raise your hand? let's give these guys a big round of applause. [applause] thank you for your effort and your energy. the only reason there is now a market for legal cannabis where there is money to be made is because people have gone out against all odds work to change the future laws which will only be changed with more of the same. we have had just an amazing run recently. i want to of knowledge the recent house appropriations
bill. for the first time, a body of congress has said something positive about cannabis by blocking the dea from spending resources forwarding state laws. it was amazing. even the most optimistic among us did not think it was going to pass this year. congress is always the last body to do anything. but they did it and it passed by a 30-vote margin. people are really waking up and you know people are breaking up when members of congress are actually on your side. what politicians and elected officials are starting to realize is cannabis is a popular issue among their constituents. we will see more and more positive reforms. let's give a nice round of applause to our fellow activists
and business people from the great state of new york becoming the 23rd medical cannabis state. [applause] finally. that has been a slog for many years trying to get that passed. it's good to know there is something there and i'm sure it will expand over time. i also want to welcome minnesota as the 22nd state from a few months ago. [applause] it's also worth mentioning -- well, it's a great thing but it's about uruguay beating the u.s. to the punch on becoming the first country to fully legalize cannabis for adults. [applause] now it's not just here in the u.s. but it's spreading. the canadian market is opening up.
it is across the world and it is just incredible. here's why. cannabis prohibition does not withstand the light of day. all we needed to do was ignite a conversation. once that conversation got ignited, it spread in living rooms and cocktail parties across the world where people realized cannabis was a reasonable adult choice with far less social harms than anything else we let people do. and also with great benefit. i think it is remarkable moment in history we are all getting a chance to be a part of. it's not just a political thing that all three of these things we are seeing such a remarkable shift. we have some big, big things
coming up just this year that could either continue this storyline that we are all building or it could send it in the other direction. there are three ballot initiatives happening in november. oregon is voting on legalization for adults in november. we also have alaska voting on legalization for adults in november. and florida voting on medical cannabis. none of these three are a given. they are going to take a lot of energy and work and we have to win. we have to keep this momentum going. i thank you in advance for anything you are doing more will be doing to help make sure that we succeed there. one of the best ways that we can all make sure that we succeed
there is by running great businesses, running businesses we can be proud of that understand all the stakeholders that are at play, consumers, neighbors, the communities that we are in, the media, investors, etc. how you manage that will be just an incredible challenge and opportunity for this industry. it's not every day that a new industry just get started out of nowhere -- not that this is a new industry but a new, legal industry. we have an opportunity to build something that's different. not just a new industry that a new kind of industry -- but a new kind. make no mistake that our continued freedom of cannabis consumers around the world is dependent upon how we do
business. they are watching. you know, it's only a small percentage of the population that consumes cannabis. we need the support of lots of non-cannabis consumers and may be people who don't even like it but are opposed that understand prohibition does not work. when it comes to marketing, when it comes to labeling, when it comes to our ecological foot print as an industry, these are things we'll need to make sure we are paying attention to in the frenzy or the green rush that occurring. just out of curiosity, i'm curious who's here. how many people currently
operate a licensed dispensary, cultivation, or infused product manufacturer? great. how many people hope to do one of those things? great. how many people here currently run an ancillary business in this sector? how many people hope to be doing it? great. how many people here think you will be raising capital for your business over the next year? or hoping to raise capital? and how many people are looking to invest in a business other than your own this year? great. thanks. it's just good to get a sense of who's here. i also like to say that money is one of those things that can
really galvanize these people. if you are here mainly for money, that's great. i think a lot of people come to this industry only because of the economic opportunity but that is not what keeps them. what keeps them are the people, the passion, the change we are making, the pie in nearing spirit we are building. this is different. your businesses are not like other businesses. i think it's going to be an interesting ride as we look at our different motivations for being involved in this sector. we learned that if you want
something done in this world, you have to figure out how to make it profitable. let's just say hippies keep being right. they were right about renewable energy. we were right about organic foods. we are right about cannabis. look at renewable energy and organic food. these movements started because people cared about something. they cared about the environment. they wanted to use renewables. they cared about the health of farms, the land, what we put in our bodies. it started out really small with a knack the best sort of flavor. but once they figured out how to have profitable business models around those ideas -- boom. now organic foods are everywhere. renewable energy is growing by leaps and leaps and bounds. i think that's what the cannabis
energy -- industry is doing for freedom. every time we show communities they can raise tax revenue, that they can have businesses that provide benefits to their communities and investors can see this as a viable investment opportunity and entrepreneurs see this is a viable business opportunity, that moves things. prohibition has been kept in place in partial part because of the profit being made by the people who make money off of depriving people of liberty. when you start a business where the outcome of your business is that people are more free as a result of your business, that's a very powerful, powerful act so
thank you. sorry. i lost my train of thought. i want to talk a little bit about how i got here. as i'm doing that, if you can start thinking little bit about how you got here, then we will compare notes. the way i got my start in this industry-movement, i was a senior in high school and some of my friends played a trick on me. i was consuming cannabis for the first time and i was always the paranoid one in the group, the friend like -- no, let's not do that. i was the one that was always nervous about these types of things. they played a trick and they had a security guard come and put me
in the car. they came in and they were laughing. they put their hand on the receiver. this is back when you had to push the button down to turn the phone off. at that moment, it hit me in my core. i realized i could not believe people were punished for this. they did not know that they were building an activist that day. here's the thing. for millions of people around the world, it's not a joke. it's not a joke. people are sitting in prison right now while we are here thinking about how to make money. we really owe it to them to make sure we do this right. to really make sure that we build the right kind of industry.
back in 2010, i was the lead fundraiser for the marijuana policy project. i was raising money from high net worth individuals who were donating to change the laws and also high net worth people working in this industry in the dispensaries and such in california. what i realized is that these two groups of people needed to know each other. a lot of people were just donating to change the law. they were not thinking about business opportunities but many had money to donate because they have been successful in other businesses. there were all these entrepreneurs who had great ideas and wanted to expand their businesses and wanted to do things in this sector. they did not know the investors. they did not know how to scale a business or put together business plans with financials and all this other stuff.
wait, these people need to know each other. i realized i could raise a whole lot more money as a peer. i sat down with steve deangelo who runs harborside health center and he saw the same thing. he had all of these people coming to him with different is this ideas. he had no way to invent the ideas and nothing for them to invest in. there's something here, but i already have a job. i brought him this idea in late 2009 and he immediately saw it. if you want to figure out what's going to happen next, figure out what steve deangelo is doing now. he has been just an incredible visionary for decades pioneering much of what we see today.
usually people think he's crazy for doing it but then a few years later they are like -- aha. steve have the right idea. that was a real great affirmation for my idea because he was willing to become our first investor. we started this view then with the idea that the development of a responsible, politically engaged, cannabis industry would lead to a day when not a single adult is punished for this plant. we've done a couple things. probably the most notable is our investor network. we had a big meeting yesterday at the denver center for the performing arts. we had over 250 accredited investors and doesn't companies pitching them. how many people were there? i'm impressed that you are up this early and i'm so sorry you
had to hear me talk so much over the last two days. [laughter] it was great. over the last year, we've seen $12 million invested in a little over a dozen companies from these folks. it's really remarkable to see how it's been growing in the new waves of people who are getting involved. the thing about being here in colorado is that there is this fear we don't talk about. when we talk about the punishments, we tend to focus on the people who are caught and punished. perhaps the greater challenge is all of the people who live in fear about being themselves, like feeling they need to keep ink from their family members and these sorts of things.
the freedom that people get when they walk into a store -- i heard a friend tell me a story that they walked into a store here in denver and went up to the counter and the person said, do you consume cannabis? um, yes. [laughter] they are like, great. do you prefer -- that moment of randomly telling a stranger that you consume cannabis is a powerfully liberating act. the fear and society that pervades millions and millions of cannabis consumers we get to solve. i think one of the reasons we are seeing so much excitement about the market here is because in a lot of ways, they are not just buying cannabis. they are buying a taste of freedom. it's a really amazing opportunity to be involved in this. that was my story about how i
got here and i wanted to check in with yours. close your eyes for a quick second. think about the first time you knew cannabis existed. think about the first time you knew someone had consumed it. think about the first time you realize that people were punished for this. think about the first time you realized that was wrong. think about the time when you realized someone benefited medically from cannabis. think about the first time you realized there was a business opportunity in this. the answer to all these questions leading up is, in many ways, how i imagine you got here. i encourage as you meet people over the next few days that there is a thing that we do at
business conferences. we shake people's hands and give the elevator pitch. you can have the exact same conversation 400 times, but it does not have to be that way. you can actually find out why behind what people do and it just gets so much richer. i think there's going to be a lot of really exciting opportunities. i think there is a huge agricultural explosion. we will see a lot of the knology coming out where cannabis will be leading the way. no one of senses over a plant like cannabis consumers and cultivators. we have underground botanists meeting up at the top plant engineers in the world than i think what they are going to create will just be awesome.
i think we are going to see a lot more in leafly. we'll start seeing acquisitions in a lot of these ancillary businesses where there are companies that are very similar but in a non-cannabis space. i think we're going to start seeing a lot more the first real acquisition of companies probably in the next few years and the most likely place that's going to happen is going to be the media space because it is the most protect it in the most easy to build them. i think that's what we are going to start seeing first. there is a lot of money at the table right now and it's looking to find a space. in many ways, it's too nascent.
the money to build this industry is here. it's just a matter of figuring out which steps we need to go through. i think it's going to be really interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years as it rolls out. i'm going to be on a panel -- actually, my colleague will be speaking at one about the arcview report. we found there is a 1.5 billion dollar industry in 2013 growing to $2.8 billion. that is 68% growth. find me another industry growing
at that clip. find me another industry that does not have a single player at more than $100 million. this is a rare opportunity for startups and small businesses to take a run at this before really big businesses start to come in. it's going to be fascinating. one thing you'll hear a lot about today and tomorrow in conversations is about the professionalizing of the industry. it's great. we need to professionalize this industry. i want to kind of challenge that notion a little bit. i agree. we want to professionalize the industry. but it depends on what your definition of "professional" is. if professional is what people
wear, where they went to college, where their last job was, sure. that can play a role. but to me, professional means you do what you say you are going to do, you honor the key stakeholders including the businesses in the community. and you treat people with respect to matter how long their hair is. some of the most professional people i've ever had the pleasure of working with did not look typically professional. some of the least professional people i've ever worked with have looked like we normally think of when we think of professionals. i encourage everybody to open up the concept of what that means so that we can make sure we are building something that can be a
new kind of industry that really embraces and we don't lose the lessons of this plant and the importance of the creativity that so many people discover through it as well. you know what? i got this message from steve deangelo last night and i wondered how i was going to close this out. as i was trying to figure out how to close it out, i read his message and i thought since this was supposed to be his speech, why don't i read what he wrote to me enclosing? i think it's shockingly fitting. i will read that now and then we will close. hello, my friends, fellow entrepreneurs, and investors. i would like to thank troy for filling in for my speaking spot. i would like to salute the voters, activists, and the cannabis community for their
successful effort to create the first full access adult use market. may many more states follow your good example and soon. a sudden flu has robbed me of the ability to present with you in the room today, but i've prepared a brief summary of the talk i was going to give, the cannabis industry as a social justice movement. it really could not be anything else given the inherent qualities of the plant and everything to do with the people using it. the very first law prohibiting cannabis was passed in california in 1913 followed shortly thereafter by border states. those laws were passed as a racist reaction to the first great wave of mexican immigrants fleeing the brutal battles of the resolution. this was just the beginning of a long, tragic beginning targeting
racial minorities and other marginalized people. it was those early laws and the myths that propelled them inspiring the theme of william randolph hearst national propaganda campaign. once they produced the desired result of federal prohibition, some of the very first enforcement targets were black musicians. others were harlem that welcomed all races at a time when few if any were in a graded. the decadence of hollywood was also targeted resulting in the arrest of robert mitchum and others. after jazz-loving beatniks acted up from african-american museums and passed it on to the hippies, cannabis laws provided cops of the great reason to hassle anyone with the wrong kind of clothes or hair cut. what started in 1913 has grown into a monster. just since 2001, 12 million
americans have been arrested on cannabis charges. african-americans have an arrested at a rate four times greater that than white people. our nation now imprisoned a larger percentage of its population than any other including north korea and the majority of those arrested will suffer a lifetime of other damaging consequences including losses of employment, housing, various professional licenses. equal or even more serious social issue is the denial of the effective medicine to people whose lives depend on it. for many years, we believed cannabis was just eight pallet of medicine. now we know that it may have -- was just a pallitive medicine. it could affect arkansas is, alzheimer's. it prevents them from providing that help.
anyone who has looked into the eyes of a mother whose child depends on cannabis will understand this instantly and we've not even talked about the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on cannabis enforcement or handed over to gangs and cartels which has been a force of robbery, a social injustice passed on every american where the hundreds of people killed by police in the force --in the enforcement or those killed by gangs and cartels. our work to dismantle this engine of justice is bearing more fruit everyday as they remove criminal penalties and create new markets, each business will reclaim a portion of the dollars stolen by prohibition. as we build our success, let's remember that our industry was birthed by a movement for social justice and we are dealing with
many decades of struggles to deal with the laws and our future is inextricably bound with the cannabis policy reform movement. we must pass new laws if we are to gain new markets and the passage in other states and countries will not happen unless we find them and push them forward. i encourage you to embrace the future of our industry as a social justice movement. rarely have investors and entrepreneurs been handed such a completely underserved market. take advantage of the unique opportunity we have built for our families and justice in our society. i would be disappointed if all we did was create another successful moneymaking industry. i believe the early pioneers have the skill, dedication, heart, vision to do much more. i hope when we look back 20, 30, 40 years from now we can proudly say it is a new kind of industry
with an ongoing commitment to social justice, and industry to set a new standard for others to live up to, and industry with an active congress. an industry that values doing good as much as creating wealth. it will not work unless we do it all together. if we make that commitment then when we do gather in that room 30 or 40 years from now and we are congratulating each other on our success and wealth, we will be able to look in each other's eyes and claim the most valuable reward life has to offer any of us, the knowledge we left this world a little better than we found it. [applause] thank you, steve deangelo. thank you. i look forward to building the next great american industry
with you. have a great conference. [applause] >> thank you, troy. can i ask our panelists to come up to the stage for the next round. it's an honor to introduce the codirector of the campaign and a longtime advocate for marijuana law reform in colorado. brian was the first chair of the ncia board and i think it was in this building three-and-a-half years ago that we founded ncia. in 2010, he was there from the
beginning almost member number one if we had a numbering system back then. it's an honor and privilege to introduce mr. brian vicente. [applause] >> thanks a lot. it's really great to be here. it really gives me great pride. when we started the organization, i think there were 10 of us or so and i feel like any time i see his staff, i swell with pride when they say they are up to 500, 550 dues-paying members -- the dea drug dog is on to us. [laughter] there's a party going on wednesday at my law firm. it's a fundraiser for the united for care campaign. that is the measure on the ballot this november in florida.
i really hope we can win that. let's give them a round of applause. let's do it, florida. [applause] we will have an insider briefing about how the campaign is going. it's only about five or 10 minute walk from the convention here. please, head on down. i'm going to give a couple of very brief comments at the beginning then we will turn over to our wonderful speakers. it's profound that we are here in colorado at this moment. not many people are aware of this but when marijuana became illegal of the federal level, the first person arrested under that federal law was a man named samuel caldwell here in colorado. it's phenomenal that colorado began the war on marijuana and he went to jail for three years for smalltime distribution. now it's really kind of the
cutting-edge of where marijuana legalization and commerce is going. i was very involved in the campaign to legalize marijuana that passed here in 2012 and i'm happy to report it to been very successful in terms of how the implementation has been going. it's been about six months since we have had the commercial system in place that you currently see for legal recreational marijuana. we don't have tons of data on how things are going, usage rates but it's important to keep an eye on teen usage, driving. the state has been good at tracking tax revenue. i think it's worth pausing on for a moment because it was just going into the hands of the underground market and cartels. we're also using $25 million and we've already set that aside for things like treatment,
prevention, youth education on marijuana. that is from the sale and now going into these positive things in our state. we produced over 10,000 direct jobs in this industry. 10,000. many of them get health care. there's thousands of indirect jobs. all we do is marijuana law. there have been tons of job creation driven by these laws. besides that, we set aside about $10 million from the state medical marijuana program. millions of people in our country really use medical marijuana legally, but the research has not always been there. we are setting aside a
significant amount of money to fund actual research and see the positive is going on with medical marijuana. i wanted to point out one or a two other things. i wanted to apologize in advance because my wife is 40 weeks pregnant. today is due date. i have my phone here at the ready. let's give her a round of applause. [laughter] send the positive mojo. if i need to run out, one of my capable staff members will pop up. i think i should be ncia supporter of the year but it's profound that we will have children that are born into a world where marijuana prohibition is a thing of the past. to me, it's amazing. [applause] my daughter will grow up thinking it does not make any sense. it's like alcohol prohibition. we look back and it's nonsense
how many people's lives were destroyed. it's almost impossible to count. this is a new dawn and i'm excited to be here. we will talk about about the challenges as well as the positive vast active legalization and their particular states. in case you were thinking of sneaking out, you should not. at the very end of when the gentleman speak i will ask them a tough question. is there an existential threat? will the pendulum swing back to prohibition? a lot of us are taking this for granted. we are going to be winning more, blah blah. i think there are some real threats out there. how potentially do we address
those? i think i'm going to start with washington, if that's ok with you? i will introduce our first speaker, john davis. he's the founder of the northwest patient resource center, a dispensary in seattle. he also has been involved for years with an event i'm blown away by every time i attend, seattle hempfest. i've been to a lot of events and seattle's is by far the most excellent marijuana event i've ever been to. hundreds of thousands of people. he's been involved in that since 1994. currently working on a project with the former president of
mexico. with that, let's give a round of applause to john davis. [applause] >> thank you. i was asked to come here and speak. the title is colorado and washington, success and challenges from the frontier of post-prohibition america. post-prohibition, i think it's a little soon to be using this type of words. in thinking about this, i decided to lead with the successes we've had in washington. i think overall, the most important success we've had in washington, also in colorado, the psychological effect of simply passing legalization initiatives. no one at the time knew what that meant, if the federal government was going to respect it.
the vote in washington was the most important event that happened in this industry since california legalized medical marijuana in 1996. it sort of forced the government hand. the two states now are in violation of the single convention treaty. the international treaty allows for medical and for research if you read the treaty. this is recreational. this is the first time this has happened and no one really knew how everyone was going to react. so far, it seems the government -- the federal government -- is willing to allow it to happen. parts of the government are not happy, but overall the notion of
legalization, which is being called the great experiment, will be allowed to continue. since legalization, the vote on legalization which, in washington, is still a little bit theoretical, it has jumped between 10% and 15% for those in favor of legalization but now the polling numbers being around 56% to 58% of the entire country including those people in oklahoma wanting outright legalization and over two thirds of those people in our nation wanting some form of legalization including medical. the conversation is not just happening here. the conversation, just a cousin of the initiative's passing has been spread throughout the world.
last week, they just had a special in australia that was the cannabis inc. of australia. there are so many of these other countries looking at us saying -- wait a second. the united states put this on us and now they are going away from it. the conversation is happening south of the border. a lot of people don't know that the drug war really impacts south of the border. if you look at the usage rates of mexicans, of drugs, they are far less than we have appear in the united states. the united states is one of the most drug using countries on earth. mexico does not have a drug problem. they have a border problem. they are on the border with a
country that is a very large drug consumer. a lot of people don't realize there has been direct confirmed casualties from the war on drugs since 1996. 1500 of those confirmed -- children. we have journalists that are kidnapped and killed. we have truckloads of beheaded corpses dumped on the side of the road but that's down there. we don't think of this as a true war because people are not dying here. the cartels know if you turn up bodies on this side of the border there will be problems. down there, apparently they don't care so much. we heard this claim before for years that it will never be allowed to happen. now we can pretty much put that behind us. now we can look at the other
states. now we can start to look at the path forward, what these votes did especially in the case of washington is create a framework, a scaffolding in which we can build on. what's been done in washington and colorado is not perfect, but i've been working on drug policy for a couple of decades now and i've yet to see the perfect legislation. basically what has always happened is we have taken the small baby steps and shored up our position and taken the next step. each one of those next steps is faltering. it's not perfect. we take it up in the next legislative cycle. also what's been a success in washington is the legalization vote is starting to force the localities in washington to actually take this seriously and to think about what it's going
to take for zoning, what it will take for occupancy in usage. a lot of people don't realize just how important for businesses the localities are. they think it's legal, problem solved. no, you still need to get into your localities. this has been forcing the hand and now they are beginning to figure out just how they will issue the building permit for the large-scale production of a schedule one substance. that brings us to the end of washington successes, unfortunately. [laughter] washington has a lot of problems. as you know, colorado is passing around a brochure where you can go within one mile and find some recreational cannabis.
that's not the case from washington yet. washington has done some things very differently. for people in various states, i think it's really important for you to look at what happened in colorado, washington, and even some things in florida. as you are going to the next steps of changing your laws, you can learn from mistakes that are made. we will get over these mistakes. it's just a process, a small baby step forward. challenges. washington, when it was legalized dan kicked to the liquor control board and there was a lot of talk about what it would look like, this notion of legalization, they did not want to think about it from a business perspective. at the time, it is big ad business.
they are going to advertise to your children and business is just a bad. understandable. when the industry reached out to the liquor control board and the powers that be, there were a lot of people in the community, what one of my colleagues calls, whack-tivists. they're very passionate but politically naïve people in the medical community typically. instead of engaging positively with the process with the liquor control board they started accusing them of things and a number of other things, being a
real pain, shouting, not really having a message. that really turned the liquor control board off. they went to the academics and said, how do you do this? academics are not engaged in the business of cannabis. it's a tricky one. there's a lot to know in the business in order to keep your supply line right, in order to keep you on the right side of taxation. their desire was to wait with what they called mom and pops. they did not want to have any capital requirements. they did not want to require any experience. they did not want vertical integration.
the initiative forbids it. if we are on the retail side, we cannot grow our own. they did not want to necessarily give medical which does not have the same amount of regulation in washington as it did in colorado a path to legalization. they ended up the property requirement that was a sham, meaningless. people do not have to be tied to they could have listed kentucky fried chicken saying it's fine. the distance relationship is fine and they could change it later. then they ended up limiting the number of licenses per entity. these are not inc. that are
likely to laura investment into a market. you are trying to keep three stores and you have all of these other challenges. it has made it a lot more difficult. then they took the growers where they could have three tier 3's were they reduced the square footage and said you could only have one. they've taken a business approach and secured these facilities. they are holding high overhead and then you are playing against someone who has no overhead, no experience. the one commonality was it waits if you can game the system. why would you not want to have money to help build your infrastructure. it just makes it more difficult.
then the liquor control board. they have consistently changed the interpretation of the rules. existing industry has had some sway but they decided they will take more of an academic approach. whereas colorado let the existing medical go over. they were a lot further along with their localities and building permits. they had to create 70% of everything they sold out of the retail stores so they had to get the building permits in place and they had that ready to go. that's why you saw colorado actually roll out with some product first. i cannot stress enough the locality role in implementation. in washington state, we are still in the process of going to the individual localities and working with them to get some
sort of zoning, occupancy, and some sort of way to get building permits. now you overlay with all of the bureaucracies. you have clean air, solid waste, fire, water, labor, department of agriculture. it's a process with those people. they are nervous about standing out on the branch alone. they have to be worked with in order to figure out solid waste -- was is it -- what is it? can we put it on a train? can we treat it like any solid waste? is it hazardous? those questions are still being answered in washington. then you have the other factors. contrary to federal law, banks won't work with cannabis industry not even on the ancillary, not yet.
the tax challenges with 280e are immense. i'm still wondering how we are going to -- how retailers are going to manage to file compliance and not go broke. we've achieved a lot. what we have to do in washington now is we have to let the system turned on july 1 and we will have to show a little failure. we are going to have to let the media show the system is not perfect. we are going to come back in and we will figure out what works, what doesn't, and we are going to make some changes. this is an ongoing process, as my good friend vivian says, the legalization is not an event but a process. thank you very much.
[applause] >> that was a really great overview. we will turn it over to our other panelist from washington state then focus on our colorado panelists. i wanted to focus on banking and the tax issues. those are two of the cornerstones of ncia's work. there's a panel tomorrow with steve fox about banking and i suggest you check that out. i'm going to turn things over to our next speaker from washington state. i got to know him eight years ago when he was really doing some groundbreaking work with the king county bar association. as a young aspiring attorney, i noticed you were putting out
position papers saying the war on drugs was a failure. i got the bar association -- is my great pleasure to turn things over to roger. >> let me stand up so i can see you guys better. it is a pleasure to be back here in denver. working with brian. the time has flown by. i kind of have to pinch myself. you don't see a lot of tie-dye and ponytailed reggae people. i used to be the oldest person
in the audience and i am not anymore. i think what i want to do is give you an update on some of the details of what is going on in washington state. after my reform work, i became notorious in my area. a seat became open in the state legislature. iran and they hit me hard. they use the keywords. roger goodman is a lawyer crusading to legalize drugs. my poll numbers shot up afterwards. that was a cultural find. i was fighting for the truth and had the courage to talk about this as a politician. people were saying, you are saying this? i begged me opponents to hit me on the drug issue. it always backfires on them. if they say i raise taxes, that is different and i am vulnerable. but now, i find myself as the chair of the public safety committee in the state house of
representatives. which used to have jurisdiction over cannabis. but it is legal now. i don't even have jurisdiction over the substance i helped to legalize. i also practice law and service cannabis businesses in washington state. i have an inside view -- john davis is a pioneer. he is talking about the acceptance of the initiative. all the soccer moms and sure to opposed the initiative said, let's do it.
they are excepting it and acknowledging it. he even embracing it. despite bumps in the road, we are developing a rigorous regulatory system that is going to satisfy public opinion. to answer brian's provocative question, i don't think so. it is a little bit of a surprise that -- it looked like we were going to happen back in the late 70's. boy did it whiplash against us. i was with jimmy carter not long ago in atlanta. i spoke at length with him about his position on marijuana. he does not believe it should be legalized. he believes it will be marketed to children and is a dangerous substance. almost all his family members have died from lung cancer related to tobacco.
he is strongly opposed to cannabis legalization. and is in favor of decriminalization. i said, don't you want to get rid of the criminal enterprises? i kind of stumped him. to let you know, jimmy carter was never in favor of legalization. a.b. it is not a surprise that we did not make it happen way back when. now, the dam has burst. the industry is sitting here. we are unstoppable. if you put your finger to the wind, you see public opinion continuing to go in the same direction. i compare same gender relationships with cannabis legalization. there is still a ceiling, a cultural acceptability ceiling
on same gender relationships. some people are still grossed out by it. when you talk about cannabis, it is a plant. the rapid cultural change and acceptance of cannabis as a pipette ought to be regulated is gaining acceptance. i don't because going to go back. we are there. this is a good example of what is called to continuous change. nothing happens, nothing happens, and then the berlin wall falls. for us, colorado and washington, the beeler wall -- the berlin wall has fallen. i predict that in 2019, hillary will have to bring down the wall the federal prohibition. five more years of federal prohibition is my prediction. the liquor control board, which we will rename the liquor and
cannabis board, but is doing the best a job they can. they are used to bottles of vodka out. they are not used to an agricultural product. they are learning along the way. sometimes behaving like bureaucrats. hindering the development of the market. the initial phase here, and we are letting colorado run interference for us to see what lessons you are learning him a we are right behind you. the first retail shop should be opening in the first couple of weeks of july. we are penetrating the market slowly. colorado already had a statewide uniform regulatory system for medical cannabis. we did not.
we had a patchwork of local control, a quasilegal -- we have an initiative on the books. but the medical system is quasilegal. we have to invent something new, which is what we are doing. and then find a way to align medical cannabis with the full access market. i do not use, and i am about to say, recreational as a word. it diminishes the use of cannabis. i don't go out for recreational beer. those of you who use tobacco, you don't go out for a recreational cigarette. i would encourage you not to use that word. general adult use. i try to use those words. there is medical cannabis and there is general adult use cannabis. try not to use that word. it comes across as something less than what it should be.
we are now licensing two million square feet of canopy. those 2 million square feet are estimated to satisfy about 15% of the demand. only 15%. we are just getting started. 25% of the demand in washington state is people under the age of 21. there will always be in on regulated market for those under 21. the other 75%, 50% is unregulated. 25% is medical. we are starting to undercut the unregulated market. it is a high-risk venture. for anyone who wants to get into business, as john was saying, it
is unpredictable with the bureaucrats are doing. you are paying rent. you don't have a license. the liquor board changes the rules and you have to wait longer. for those getting into this, you need the resources. otherwise -- and quite a number of applicants have withdrawn because they found the do not have the resources. the challenges are banking. we have one credit union in the state that is willing to provide merchant services. i am actually working on a deal where retailers and maybe other sectors of the market would join an association. a bank, yet to be named, would service the association rather than individual businesses. but the bank issue is huge. i'd rather answer questions about what is going on with washington then talk at you. we are moving in the right
direction. bumps in the road. in terms of medical, we will be licensing a few medical retail, but it will be general use. i am concerned about truly medically needy individuals who need a lot and might not be served by the market. i want to make sure we provide for the truly medically needy who consume a lot. they probably ingest. you need a lot of material. that is my major concern. and then locals. one big difference between colorado and washington is we do not have arguably a local opt out. the attorney general has said locals can opt out come of it that will be litigated. i'm in favor of revenue sharing. they are not ideologically
opposed so much as they want a cut. we want to provide local revenue to make it a statewide market. it is a pleasure to be here. thank you. [applause] >> thanks, roger. wonderful to have elected officials here. we will shift and talk about colorado. i want to remind folks, we will have an open q&a. then we will have questions from the audience is. if you have earning questions, please hang onto them. i will have eliott speak. he is the ceo and cofounder of a prominent medical marijuana and adult use dispensary. they have a reputation for being top of the class. he comes from a background in oil and gas as well as agriculture.
with that, i will turn it to him. give him a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you for the glowing review. the successes and challenges to me seem to overlap in this industry. the things that have made us successful in colorado are also the biggest challenges going forward. the prior panelists covered it. the cliché is all politics are local. in this industry, we are the political face of the commercial
side of the movement as well as, hopefully, for the patients and people who have helped create this opportunity. here in colorado, we have seen regular change from both legislative and revelatory sides. every three months, once things got going, the first law passed for the constitutional change. which open the door for the opportunity. we existed as a caregiver model. it was all still kind of borderline underground.
once the elections in 2008 happened, you saw a lot more people become openly advertising they are running a commercial style caregiver business. that triggered the city of denver to make the first move to push us into a regulated retail outlet and production model. during that time, the building departments did not know what to do. a lot of these have existed outside of traditional building codes and requirements. that level overexposure to the regulatory bodies for the marijuana industry is what is defining the go forward path. we are regulatory management companies in colorado. we produce a product and sell it. we have to manage and provide data to the regulatory bodies to give comfort to the federal government that we are couple sharing the bullet points on their memo. the politics are local. the regulatory agencies are the ones answering to the federal government saying we are doing
our best to prevent child consumption. that is where the biggest foot dragging will come from. the bureaucracies will not want to readily assume the burden for playing interference with the federal government. it is a big request to say, but these guys produce a schedule one substance in the middle of what the federal government considers active prohibition. it behooves you to know who your local entities are so you can have comfort with them that your investments and opportunities are going to be stable. you are making good business decisions. as in colorado, we have learned once the rules get rolling, plan for 3-6 month changes. all the sudden you can be caught buying something that is not available.
my answer to the challenge of what could derail this, if we don't develop good business to government relations, we will slow ourselves down. there is probably no going back, but it is our turn to show we can run a business and work with the government. the government is already there. you are trying to become a business. you need their permission to do so. you are going to have to -- the activism is important, but the business relationship is where we are making the changes. we at pink house have always there is probably no going back, but it is our turn to show we can run a business and work with the government. the government is already there. you are trying to become a business. you need their permission to do so. you are going to have to -- the activism is important, but the business relationship is where we are making the changes. we at pink house have always sought to have a strong relationship with our city.
[applause] >> thanks so much, eliott. andrew, his brief background, he is a harvard law graduate. he was the chief of staff for the lieutenant governor of colorado. now he is the first-ever director for marijuana coordinator for the state. i will let him talk about challenges and successes from his vantage point. give a hand to andrew. [applause] >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. i want to thank everyone. they are big thought leaders in colorado, not only for the amendment, but for the people to see around corners. they are seeing the challenges
they will have in the future. it is that kind of thought process and partners that make me want to come here today. my hope is that we will be cultivating that spirit. i'm the governor posture of marijuana coordination. which is a title my law school friends are jealous of. the job has less to do with the debate over marijuana legalization and more to do with, we can have the debate is much as we want. i tend to not injure into that
debate. the other thing we have to do is implement a system no one has implemented without federal oversight. we are in a new territory which requires a lot of government work. i consider my role to be a good government role. it has little to do with marijuana and more to do with the kind of business relationships and forward thinking relationships that can get us to a place where we have equitable and fair regulatory systems that protect our youth. protect public safety and public
health. these are the kinds of conversations we will have to have. what will not straddle the industry but work here. it is going to be an ongoing conversation because we have never done this before. not only have we not done this for marijuana but we have never regulated and industry just on the state level without also being a federal conversation. what have we done well? i would say the amendment 64 task force put together hundreds of people working on all the places that needed to be regulated. business interest mixed with people who are marijuana proponents. and opponents. also legal, public safety people, public health people. saying, what do we need to do? creating the kind of packages that says, here you go, here are the bare-bones. surprisingly for -- we were able
to go on january 1. i think that is the biggest miracle so far. the skeleton of that thing and what allowed for a lot of people to calm down, including the federal government, is we had in inventory tracking system that was ready to go on day one. we can track every single clone all the way to maturity and to the point of sale. that information becomes so
important. that was a skeleton. the department of revenue work on that is the home run hit we have had so far. everything we do on the regulatory basis is built off that model. the other thing that i would say we continue to do, will we monitor anecdotes and data, we are hypervigilant at trying to get on top of things. we don't want things to escalate out of control and have to come back to them. we do it in a way that we are reaching out to industry. concerned people, public health. we are doing a good job of not being overly reactionary. coming up with smart solutions. the edible task force is a good way of showing it. again, we see anecdotes and things going wrong. we are hearing a lot about out-of-state users overindulging. everybody is working together. how are we doing? the sky has not fallen. that is the most we will ever be able to say at this point. i caution both sites. i get a lot of, this is the worst thing that is ever happened. there is no data to support that. it will take another 5-10 years to work out the exact impact with public health and education. with that being said, we have not seen an increase in crime or usage. the world has not ended. it is all data we want to get ahold of. we are doing that and moving at a speed unseen before. we have brought in about $18 million in revenue through april. in the ballpark of where we thought we would be. there have been thousands of jobs created. we are working on taking initial
data. i'm going to end with, because i want us to get to questions, we are working on edible's. there has been a task force put together with representatives from industry and public health. the concerned citizens. the basic premise is, how do we try to prevent accidental ingestion by young people. the second is, how do we make it -- without any sort of cultural or public education about it. how do we make it intuitive when they are having one serving? so they should know how much
they are eating, absent anybody telling how much they should split it? what we will see his emergency rulemaking that says, a serving size should line up -- there should be a demarcation or stamp or physical product separation. on banking, we are concerned. i am jealous of washington having a credit union. that is not something we have had yet in colorado. i think we have been working with washington state and the governor on trying to go
together to find a federal solution. every other solution will be on shaky territory. that is what bankers are saying. we will do what we can. we passed a bill last session that allows for the formation of basically a credit union style co-op that can go straight to the federal reserve and ask for access without having to get insurance, which is a roadblock. we are pushing for credit unions to create marijuana only credit unions. any solution is a good solution to us. the final thing we are working hard on is use prevention. over the coming months, i hope we will come out with our youth prevention campaign.
it will not be about the legalization debate. it will be about teenage use. we will be working closely with the industry. i think everyone can understand one of the things that would really stop legalization in its tracks is if we see a dramatic increase in youth use. that is not to say that is where we see the data is going, but it's up to us to make sure it stays out of the hands of people under 21. this is an incredibly fascinating field day today. thank you for having me here. [applause] >> think so much, andrew. it is nice to see the governor takes a thoughtful and collaborative approach. we did not see eye to eye. he campaigned against us. now that the voters endorsed it, it is nice to see we can have a conversation. i will ask one or two quick questions. we have many good questions from the audience. i want to hit on what we talked about in the beginning. i will ask each speaker to briefly address this. is there an exit stencil threat to legalization? is there a policy issue you are seeing related to this?
how can we grapple with it? let's maybe jump -- andrew, are you prepared? >> can you talk about what you mean by the existential threat. >> the fact that it has only been legal for 18 months. is there a chance that marijuana, the pendulum will swing back and legalization will be overturned? if so, what is the issue that would make that happen? is it edibles, labeling, banking? business to government relations not being good enough? >> the second i got this job, my girlfriend picked up the book,
smoke signals. it a history of the legalization effort. i will always say yes. there is a complete chance that a year from now, everybody says that was nice but that is done. that is a politics question. i don't have a good read on where the politics will go nationally. i would say, the shaking as we have -- shakiness we have is tied up in banking. as the last bastion. that is where i see the most the various influences coming in. -- most nefarious influences coming in. if we can do this as far as -- that is great. if it becomes a big money laundering operation, i think there is a whole separate ground for sharing this thing down. >> do you have any thoughts? >> the machine that is prohibition did not just go
away. there are people that make money off this. industries that rely on this. there are areas of the country where the law enforcement really sees marijuana as a tool to get away with a lot. there are a lot of people invested in the status quo. the pendulum is clearly swinging in the direction of legalization, but if you don't think those people on the other side are going to try, no matter what happens, spin it as failure, you are wrong. they will spin it as failure.
what can we do to help them? we can be lacksadasical about our messaging. be irresponsible. the baking is a challenge. a lot of people are working in an all cash environment. for those who were here for the keynote, the words that were written by steve d angelo about this injury -- industry needing to have a soul and social conscience, that is because it is the right thing to do. but also because the downside risk in this industry is not just losing your investment money. it is federal prison. [laughter] >> whenever i said with clients, i am obligated to say, what you are doing is an unambiguous violation of federal law. we smile and move on.
but i would not be a competent lawyer if i did not warn them every time. the pendulum swung sharply from the 1970's to the 1980's. there's a major distinction today. since the 1980's, 30 years, the grassroots have taken hold. the people have been heard. a statutory and constitutional, in colorado, framework has been established. it was not just cultural and personal references. we have established an infrastructure that is going to be very difficult to dismantle.
it is also based on rationality, which is not necessarily what drives politics. i do not think we are going back. we will have bumps in the road for economic reasons. reasons of public safety. reduced alcohol consumption, duis. teens reporting it is harder to get. teen use down, from what i understand in colorado. we will have some incidences. the rapid response on the edible issue is a good example of addressing an issue. it if the industry is not responsible, you will sow your own demise. i have been encouraging cannabis to distinguish themselves from tobacco and alcohol and not market to children. [indiscernible]
>> public health and safety is our job as an industry to prove we can do it before the regime changes hands and we get into the next wave of legislative battles. >> again, i have a bunch of excellent questions. i would add my two cents on the existential issue. the edible issue is a tough one. as someone who wrote the legalization measure and codirected the campaign, we did not see the edible industry
now. in terms of how to keep your business functioning, the guidance on this industry from the federal government laid out eight things. always taking the time to look back at that. we did have an audience member share their thoughts on whether there is an existential thought. the individual says, i am concerned about these cannabis businesses going public. a lot of them have had stock trade orders by the sec. there seem to be scams that are fleecing investors. tomorrow, there is a panel on the sort of going public. how public company can operate. please check that out tomorrow. how many states will have to legalize cannabis in some form for the federal government to start to act? basically, what is your prediction on how soon we see action on the federal level? we will start with andrew. >> i have no great insight into this. i will take a pass, except
somebody asked for my last name. freedman. >> i think there is going to be serious discussion about it in 2016. 2016 is the year the world convenes and discusses international treaty. the federal government can't just say, yeah, washington and colorado are behind you. it is a validation of treaty. it has to be handled on an international level.
you are going to see become position start their and hopefully will make some progress. my prediction is, it doesn't matter how me states. it is about the treaty. >> i will stick with my seat of the pants prediction that five years from now the federal law of prohibition will come down. i can't believe it is possible. but look at where we are now. there is no movement in congress, so it will be up to the executive. the executive does have the power to reschedule and introduce enough policy initiatives so the controlled substances act becomes meaningless.
>> it is anybody's guess. i wouldn't want to say the power is where you want to follow. the people with the votes, they are the people that will make the shift. my vote is new york and florida will make it happen. >> i would note, too -- i apologize if i don't get to your question. there is a panel tomorrow on which states are primed to legalize or move forward with medical marijuana. do not miss that panel. a couple of washington specific questions. what changes do you hope to see in the 2015 washington legislative session? >> i actually killed a bill at the end of the last session which was not going to serve patients well. which is premature. we will be amending both initiatives in the next session. the medical marijuana initiative, which was enacted in 1998, and initiative 502.
aligning them so patients will be able to -- they will probably have a state card that will allow them to purchase significantly more than a general adult use consumer. retail outlets will need special training if they are going to be providing to medical. just trying to think of some of the others -- trying to accommodate those who are medically needy. as far as the general use market, there are little tweaks as far as giving liquor control board. we are watching it roll out. but in general, the system is in place.
>> we will need to address washington taxation. there will be 2-3 stores open on july 1. the liquor control board wants that. they want to show progress. the prices you will see, you people in colorado are going to chuckle and say, my god i am glad i'm in colorado. the prices in washington are insane. we will have to come back. our taxation is too aggressive. the initiative being written more by academics made assumptions about how easy it would be to make. it would just be pennies a gram
to produce which is not the case. we are going to have to go in and deal with distance relationships. the relationships in the initiative have to do with day care, child care centers. in the federal government, the u.s. attorneys came out and said, when the liquor control board said yeah, kids don't fly. you measure a thousand feet. it is governed by a property law. it references title 21. that doesn't mention anything about day care, child care centers. i want to change the distance relations. we need some sort of regulation for medical. to figure out how medical and recreational are going to survive together in the near term until we can get this notion of legalization up. the adult use, general adult use market, needs to first be able to supply the general adult use market before it can be assumed it would be able to serve patients. >> i want to comment on the distances.
1000 feet. the state requires that liquor establishments be 500 feet from a school. politically, that is tough. in a legislature to say we want pot shops to be closer. >> i have high hopes. >> we will work on it. >> thanks roger and john. a couple of colorado questions. this is a point of clarification. you said that through april, the state has brought in about $18 million in taxes. does that include medical marijuana? is that your adult use? licensing fees? >> that is just from proposition
taxes. excise taxes and sales taxes. >> this is for eliott. what are the pros and cons of integrating legal marijuana with adult use facilities. >> for us, the pros are being able to serve a wider customer base. the restrictions of the medical market also give you advantages. there are a lot of tumors who don't want to go through the process. the cons are it costs more. you are paying for essentially
two licenses at both state and city level, which push your licensing any range of 20 k a store, 40 k a store. it is not cheap. every year. >> thank you. a question concerning hemp. what is the status of industrial hemp in colorado? i can speak to colorado. is the forgotten issue of the legalization measure. we legalized hemp simultaneously. i felt like it was one of those things where, hemp became very mainstream overnight. everybody was like, what is the big deal with hemp? the state department of agriculture has thrown themselves into regulating it. there are people growing acres of hemp right now. it is phenomenal. that brings up a possible business opportunities. here we are at the event.
hemp is a pretty viable crop for all sorts of things. with the new laws passing, which are fascinating, like cbd only laws in florida. is there an opportunity to grow low thc hemp? have low thc hemp? we believe that could be grown via a hemp crop. can you speak about hemp in washington? >> there was a bill introduced that made it to the house but not the senate to create a hemp market. hemp is legal but unregulated. the republicans in particular are very excited about the hemp market. they represent the eastern part of washington state which is more economically hard-hit. it was a republican bill. it is interesting to see, years ago republicans tended to be
against this. now they see tremendous economic opportunities in their communities. we were going to vote on a bill, but there was a weather problem and republicans could not make it. i thought it was interesting that we had to put on hold the vote on a marijuana vote -- bill two-week for republicans to get to the legislature. we will get hemp done. >> to follow-up, speaking about the cbd specific marijuana bills. being passed in various states. on the bills, there is some thought these could be a box canyon. as a place like florida passes the bill, they have done enough
and will not do more. they have helped the sickest of the sick. could you give your thoughts on those bills? >> it is exactly that. when you read the polls, medical marijuana polls slightly -- people that have a favorable impression of it slightly higher than apple pie. that is a fact. the republicans and democrats are seeing this. even those people that are invested heavily in the status quo, as many politicians are, they have been propping this up
for 30 years. they have financial backers. people that like the status quo. they are using the cbd only thing to say, you don't need medical marijuana. we have cbd. marijuana in itself is not just cbd. it is not just thc. lots of research has to be done on it. but the cbd bills are ways to prevent the inevitable, which is medical marijuana. >> the short version is we are trying to free the plant, not
one tiny fraction. if we allow cbd only, we are talking about big pharma and molecular grade science versus legalizing a plant. >> question concerning the backdoor threats to legalization. by that i mean, we see things like water. the water reclamation board not allowing marijuana grow to have water because the water is being held in federal facilities.
or threats against power companies. >> i have a number of clients in the columbia river basin were freaking out about the bureau of reclamation's position that water cannot be used to grow a federally prohibited product. the bureau of reclamation -- this is one example it is not an enforcement body. they can say all they want that they will take your water right away. is the u.s. justice department that initiates those actions. there is a match going on within the federal government between bureaucrats who don't like this thing, and i am not concerned about the bureau of reclamation threatening to limit water or to take water rights away. it would be up to the justice department, and they have given us guidance that they will let it go ahead. i am trying to think of other backdoor threats. >> there is banking and taxes. >> we have indian nations in colorado. the yakima tribe has filed suit to prevent cannabis businesses on its trust lands, which
includes a third of washington state. it will not be successful. we hear some griping and crying. ultimately i know our attorney general and governor will go straight to the federal government. they might be backdoor threats, but i do not see them bringing down the system. >> the real cutting edge of the war right now -- if you ask sam patrick kennedy's group what they are working on banks. period. they have their heels dug into that. they don't want to give on banks.
once we have banks, we have legitimacy. that is one of a lot of their strategy is. there have been many statements made to that effect. >> the final question i would like all the speakers to speak on -- if you look at the talking points of the opposition to marijuana reform, is interesting to see of a shift. for a long time, this is your brain on drugs. now the talking point is, this is big marijuana. just like big tobacco. they are trying to hike up the thc rates to get your kids addicted. they are marketing this incoming bears and trying to destroy the fabric of american society. my question for the panel is, how do we as an industry avoid this casting of a net calling this big marijuana? start with eliott.
>> some of the legislation has we are people who choose cannabis over wine or maybe with wine. we are choosing something. it is adult choice, adult use. medical is one aspect of that. it is about freedom of choice to use a plant as part of your lifestyle. that normalization is what is going to push back. so when you can show up and do your job and still consume cannabis is going to help chip this fear. we are not bad people. we just like cannabis. >> that should be on your gravestone. [laughter] >> i think messaging is really im